JOB SEEKERS​

Looking for Work

Searching for a new job is hard work…in fact, it can be the toughest “job” you will ever have. The key to job search success is to treat the entire process like a business; you are currently in the “job hunting” business. To stand above the rest of the job-seeking crowd, it is important to create your own effective strategy by defining what you want and need and then to pursue this strategy with persistence.​

Job Seeking Resources

Where to look?

  1. Maryland Workforce Exchange:The Maryland Workforce Exchange (MWE) is the premier online tool for job seekers and employers to connect in Maryland. Job seekers create a profile that indicates their strengths, skills, and interests. Based on this profile, job seekers can apply for jobs and be selected by employers for open positions.

  2. Maryland’s One-Stop Career Centers: Find a One-Stop Career Center in your community to access employment-assistance resources such as online job search, career counseling, job readiness workshops, resume review, and education and training for eligible individuals. Individuals with disabilities may disclose in order to receive accommodations and gain access to other disability-specific programs.

  3. Maryland State Department of Education, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS): If you are a DORS consumer, work with a DORS counselor at a Vocational Rehabilitation Field Office or One-Stop Career Center in your community to access a wide variety of vocational services for individuals with disabilities including career guidance, counseling, assessment, training, job search, placement and keeping services.

  4. Career Services Office at colleges and universities: If you are a student at a college or university, start with the on-campus Career Services Office and their website. If you have graduated, check back in! Schools often have services designed specifically for alumni. Career Services Offices can help with resume and cover letter review, mock interviews, and the job search process. Stay tuned to your campus’ office for information about employers visiting campus, networking events, and target job/internship announcements.

  5. Social Media: Create a professional online presence for yourself. Websites like LinkedIn create online professional networking opportunities that can lead to interviews, internships, and jobs. Be sure to evaluate the settings on your other social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc) so you are aware of how much of your information can be accessed by a future employer.

  6. AARP: The AARP has created a portal on its website for older adults looking for work. The site features a job search tool, information on Social Security, and advice on working after retirement.

Resume Writing:

A resume presents your skills, experiences, and education with specificity, clarity, and brevity. Resumes should be organized so it is very easy for a potential employer to learn about the skills and experiences that make you an ideal candidate for their position. Therefore information is typically presented in bullet form, rather than paragraphs. Check out the resources below for samples, templates, and helpful hints:

  1. The popular job posting site Monster.com has a section with hints and advice on resumes.

  2. Myfirstpaycheck.com, a job search site for youth, features a Resume Builder tool, which builds a model resume. 

  3. Myfuture.com provides a step-by-step guide to creating a new resume.

  4. USAJOBS provides tips and advice for writing a specialized resume to apply for jobs and internships in the federal government. Federal resumes are a bit different than traditional resumes making this an invaluable resource.

Cover Letters: 

A cover letter introduces you to your future employer, expanding on the information on your resume from bulleted information to rich, detailed examples of your skills while emphasizing their transferability to the position for which you are applying. Check out the resources below for examples, templates, and hints:

  1. The popular job posting site Monster.com has a section with hints and advice on cover letters.

  2. Myfuture.com provides detailed information about writing a cover letter including format, common mistakes, and purpose.

​Interviewing:

An interview allows a potential employer to analyze how you present yourself and the way you communicate. Interviews may be in-person, over the phone, or even using video chat. Take the opportunity to further show your potential employer how your skills and past experiences would translate to the position for which you are applying. Check out the resources below for resources and tips:

  1. The popular job posting site Monster.com has a section with hints and advice on interviewing.

  2. Myfuture.com provides detailed information on how to ace the interview, including practice tips, appropriate attire, and professional expectations. 


Internships

As an alternative to full-time, permanent work, you may want to consider looking for an internship first. An internship provides experience that will be helpful when looking for a job later on. This is especially relevant for college students, as an internship can sometimes be completed for credit. However, many opportunities are available for Marylanders not currently enrolled in school. Below you will find resources to assist with your internship search. In addition, if you are a college student or alumnus, consider searching through your career services office, as often companies will only post internships with on-campus offices.

  1. Maryland State Internship Information: Features internships offered by Maryland State agencies.​

  2. Baltimore Collegetown: Lists internships in the Baltimore metro area offered by private companies, nonprofit organizations, state agencies, and more.

  3. AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps offers over 75,000 opportunities annually for individuals of all ages and backgrounds to make a difference in their communities through a commitment to service. 

There are also some internship programs specifically for individuals with disabilities, both in Maryland and nationally.

  1. Governor’s QUEST Internship Program: In partnership with DORS, the QUEST Internship Program affords State agencies the opportunity to provide mentoring to persons with disabilities.

  2. Workforce Recruitment Program: WRP is a recruitment and referral program that connects qualified colleges students with disabilities with federal sector employers nationwide.

  3. Emerging Leaders: Emerging Leaders is a nationally competitive internship and leadership development program for college students with disabilities. In the past, students have interned with Booz Allen Hamilton, MetLife, Microsoft, and JP Morgan Chase.

  4. Entry Point!: Entry Point is a national, competitive program that offers internships in science, mathematics, computer science, and some fields of business to students with disabilities. Past internship organizations include IBM, NASA, Merck, Google, Lockheed Martin, CVS, NAVAIR, Pfizer, Infosys, Shell, and Proctor & Gamble.


Federal Government Employment

The federal government provides a unique employment opportunity for individuals with disabilities. In 2010, President Obama issued Executive Order 13548, which calls for an increase in the number of individuals with disabilities employed in federal agencies. That, combined with hiring authorities that ease the entrance process, make employment in the federal government a viable and exciting opportunity for individuals with disabilities.

Tips for applying for jobs with the federal government:

  1. You first need to go to www.USAJOBS.gov. All federal positions are listed on USAJOBS.

  2. Additionally, USAJOBS has resources for individuals with disabilities. Here you can find information on Schedule A Hiring Authority, Selective Placement Coordinators, and specific information on applying for positions.


Rights and Responsibilities

As an employee or potential employee, there are laws that protect you from discrimination in the workplace. By the same token, it is your responsibility to ensure that you receive a reasonable accommodation.  You should never have to pay for an accommodation. The employer pays for accommodations, unless it creates an undue hardship.

  • Job Recruitment and Application Process

    • Businesses are not required to recruit individuals with disabilities. They may not, however, use recruitment techniques that might screen out potential applicants with disabilities. Businesses are obligated to make the application process accessible to anyone who wishes to apply. Large print format, on-line application processes, and assistance in completing the application are all considered reasonable accommodations.

    • Employers are not allowed to ask disability-related questions on job applications. For Affirmative Action purposes only, an employer may ask you to voluntarily disclose if you have a disability. This is okay as long as it is stated that giving the information is voluntary and will be kept confidential. This information cannot be used against you. See the Disclosure section on this page for more information about why, when, and how to disclose.

  • Interview Process

    • It is your responsibility to request an accommodation for the interview. Reasonable accommodations may include holding the interview in an accessible location, providing sign language interpreters, or providing a reader for an applicant who is blind. You can request modified testing procedures if testing is a standard part of the interview process.

    • Employers may not ask you to take a medical examination as a part of, or prior to, the interview process. Employers may not ask disability related questions during an interview.

    • Employers may ask about your ability to perform essential functions of the job for which you are interviewing with or without accommodations. You should expect employers to ask about your qualifications and skills.

For more information, please refer to the Your Rights and Responsibilities​ fact sheet.


Recruitment Websites

Websites Specifically for Job Seekers with Disabilities

Websites for all Job Seekers


Fact Sheets

• Where the Jobs Are
• Getting the Job You Want
• Employment Options 
• Career Options 
• Your Rights & Responsibilities​